This is part two in a three part mini series. If you missed yesterday’s post: I’m just a girl… that would be a good place to start. read that here and part two here
There is a fine line that exists between the intentional life, and living with hands wide open. An intentional life speaks of knowing thins like direction, purpose, having lists, even if they are mental ones, and moving throughout your day with a plan.
70% of Americans 18 and older actually plan for their futures. For retirement, projects and for the occasional rainy day. I’m not saying that this is wrong, it is always a good idea to have some sort of escape hatch if you find your ship sinking. But I think we make it such a priority in our increasingly busy lives to plan for tomorrow that we forget to live in today. Stress levels among women especially is at an all-time high, and it generally has to do with money. While I am certainly a proponent of taking care of business metaphorically speaking, I also believe in walking through the day with hands wide, ready to catch what the Holy Spirit throws at you. It isn’t always comfortable, or even convenient, but I have found that when we are listening and respond to the call, I am always blessed beyond what I could ever receive in this world.
Yesterday we talked about why we complicate our lives the way we do. Okay, really it was Thursday…and this is Saturday…but here’s the thing…I had a plan to get this posted Friday morning. I had a plan.
But apparently, God had a different plan.
Instead of taking care of business, I spent the majority of the day with some young girls who really needed to hear a word of encouragement. They needed to know that the Father loves them so much, even in their failures, that He has made plans for them. That He is taking care of them even when they don’t think they deserve it.
It was the BEST day that I could have ever asked for
Did I accomplish anything that I had set out to do that morning? No…
Did I fulfill my obligations to my work? Absolutely not…
Do I regret one minute of it? Not even a little bit
How does this relate to the topic we have been discussing over the last few days – living a beautiful life, right where you are? Let’s look at the three main complications from Thursday. Here is what I think:
Our focus is in the wrong place –
The most positive change that I can make in my life is to not focus on what others are doing. Instead I set my eyes on God and let Him arrange my schedule according to His plan. Hear my heart here, I have a to-do list ten miles long. I would love to get most of them checked off, but what I have discovered is that it doesn’t matter how many get checked…it will fill up just the same tomorrow. So here’s the practical step:
Schedule time for what is most important (make sure to include things you like to do as well as the ones you have to do) Set time limits for your activities, but include some white space in between to allow for “God happenings” to occur. If you don’t get it all done because of a derailing – don’t sweat it. There is always tomorrow.
We think our way is best –
Be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Do you know when that is occurring? Most often it is a tug at your heartstrings. Either because the way you are going is not the God way, or because a situation has presented itself that He would like you to participate in. Most would say that it is your conscience speaking to you…well what do you think your spirit is? Listen to that leading….it is almost always Him 🙂 Sometimes the leading comes from a word from a friend or something that you read that speaks to your very soul Again, you feel this tug inside that says “pay attention”. Listen to it. If it doesn’t go against scripture, it is probably God.
We do everything in our own power –
I don’t know about you, but I am tired. I have spent far too many years trying to do everything and be everything. The first thing that I had to do to break this cycle was to admit that I simply couldn’t do it anymore. I had to learn how to say no when I really didn’t want to. I lowered my expectations of what I was capable of, and started passing off some of the things I normally would have taken on, to other people.
Changing your priorities can be equally key in letting go. Here’s a general guideline that I always repeat to myself when my day has been derailed by someone:
People before stuff
If I don’t get laundry or the dishes done because I needed to help a friend or family member, I don’t sweat it anymore. Those things will be there again tomorrow, even if I do get it all done today. Disclosure: this is not an excuse to let everything go indefinitely, we are supposed to take care of the things God has given us.
What I have found is that if I take the time to be faithful and follow is leading, the rest of the stuff always gets accomplished too. Instead of saying I don’t have time to spend getting to know the Lord in the morning…I just do it anyway, and somehow the rest of it gets done too.
His strength is all that we need. He will get you through everything if you set your eyes and your heart on Him, and never look back. Be encouraged! God is right there walking beside you – let Him give you rest.
Soli Deo Gloria!